Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

White House Claims Trump Didn't Hear Merkel's Request For A Handshake

White House Claims Trump Didn't Hear Merkel's Request For A Handshake

Meanwhile, Trump on Friday rejected calls from both Democrats and Republicans to retract the charge and apologize.

Donald Trump says Germany owes "vast sums of money" to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, just a day after meeting Angela Merkel at the White House.

"As far as wiretapping, I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps", he said to laughter as Merkel appeared aghast before regaining her composure.

Britain's communications intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), has denied it was asked to wiretap U.S. President Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign.

"Millions of hardworking USA citizens have been left behind by worldwide commerce and together we can shape a future where all of our citizens have a path to financial security", said the billionaire U.S. president. The property mogul-turned-politician was spending a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after a politically bruising week. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" one tweet read.

"Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election?"

According to a Western diplomat, Spicer and Darroch had spoken by telephone on Tuesday, at which time Darroch asserted that there was no basis to the report.

Merkel was originally supposed to visit the White House Tuesday, but that meeting was delayed due to snow. It has not retracted the allegations - the tweets remain online - nor has it offered any evidence.

At one point Merkel can be heard saying: "Do you want to have a handshake?"

On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he had not given Trump any reason to believe he was wiretapped by President Obama.

It's a freakish, unprecedented spat between the United States and one of its closest allies, whose intelligence services work extremely closely together as members of the "Five Eyes" group of countries. There was an article, I think they used that exact term.

Yet few in Washington are expecting he can do that.

White House officials tried to calm the concerns of British allies after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeated an unfounded claim that the British spy service spied on President Trump.

Leaders of both the House and Senate intelligence committees, including from Trump's Republican Party, have said they have found no evidence to substantiate Trump's claims that Obama ordered U.S. agencies to spy on Trump or his entourage.

Pool reporters said that Spicer told the British government that he was not endorsing the story when he mentioned it at the briefing, he was just pointing to the public report.

But at a visibly awkward news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, Mr Trump said only that Mr Spicer had just been quoting retired judge Andrew Napolito, a Fox News commentator.

In early March, Donald Trump made the claim that Obama tapped his phones, and has refused to back down despite the lack of evidence.

"It's inexplicable", said Representative Charlie Dent. So in this spirit I would be happy if we could resume discussions between the European Union and the United States of America.

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